REBEL JOAN OF ARC MOTHER-DAUGHTER TEAM TRAVEL TO VISIT TEXAS MONUMENTS AT GONZALEZ, FOR APRIL IS CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH.
Submitted by President Jenny Lehr
To understand the roots of the issue one must first know the history of the monument and Confederate Square where it stands.
According to the historical marker on site, the square was “First mapped in 1825 as ‘Market Square,’ but had become ‘Jail Square’ prior to 1836 when Gonzales was burned by order of Gen. Sam Houston to prevent buildings and supplies falling into possession of oncoming enemy, Gen. Santa Anna.”
Gordon said the square has been known as Confederate Square ever since the erection of the monument 111 years ago, but said the name may not have been formally changed on record from Jail Square.
“It’s an AKA (also known as) that began in 1910,” she said.
The monument itself was commissioned by the Gonzales Chapter No. 545 Daughters of the Confederacy. Fundraising began in 1903.
According to a story in the Gonzales Inquirer from July 15, 2009, making the 100th anniversary of the monument, “The organization began a drive to raise funds for a monument to the memory of those brave soldiers from the Gonzales County area who fought, bled and died in defense of the South,” said Carolyn Rihn. “Some $500 was contributed to the fund by the Confederate Veterans’ group: G.W. Littlefield, Hartwell Jones, L.M. Kokernot, Hugh Lewis, B.N. Peck, T.F. Harwood, W.B. Houston, Thomas White and others.”
The fundraising didn’t end there.
“Mrs. B.B. Hoskins Sr. was elected president of the chapter in 1905 and led the continued effort to raise funds,” Inez Lasell was quoted in the article. “Over the next four years, the ladies held monthly teas, calendars, dinners, Saturday markets, an autographed Confederate quilt, a Tag Day held during the County Fair, and sought contributions from patriotic Southerners.”
The group raised $3,700 (more than $100,000 adjusted for inflation in 2020) and contracted Frank Teich of Llano to make the sculpture. The monument is 40 feet tall, including an eight-foot statue made of Carrara marble of a private soldier on picket duty. The base is 12 feet square, centered in a concrete circle 30 feet in diameter.
An engraving on the north side of the base says, “Erected by Gonzales Chapter, No. 545, Daughters of the Confederacy, June 3, 1909.” Above that is an inscription reading: “Our Confederate dead. 1861-1865.” Located on the first section of the pedestal is a laurel wreath, and above that on the next section is a Confederate flag. On the south side of the monument is the inscription “Lest We Forget.”
photo 1 Rebel Joan Of Arc Mother-Daughter Team visit TX Historical Monument for April is Confederate History Month.
Left to Right: RJOA President Jenny Lehr and RJOA Daughter Paige Lehr